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Do Fishing Rods Go Bad Or Wear Out? (ANSWERED)

Fishing rods are certainly your best buddy if you are an angler regardless of professional or seasonal, but once you have bought fishing rods it’s normal for you to use them continuously for decades without even give a thought to whether fishing rods can go bad or wear out. 

Do Fishing Rods Wear Out?

Yes, fishing rods do wear out after a certain period depending on the material, regardless of steel or bamboo or others that have been used to making them. But it will take decades for fishing rods to wear out only if they are taken care of and stored in a great way to prevent corrosion and rust.

Fishing rods are mainly steel or bamboo made but other materials such as graphite and fiberglass are also being used to make them, therefore, all of these materials can weaken as time passes and this results in worn-out fishing rods

However, if you adopt proper methods for storing and taking care of them, fishing rods can last for a prolonged time without being worn out, and their utility can be used for decades.

How Long Do Fishing Rods Last? 

Fishing rods can last for decades depending on the material and storing method. Some can even last for 20-30 year without even getting any erosion or rust and gives a top-quality performance

However, the material is always considered as the main reason for long-lasting fishing rods. And the most common and widely materials after steel and bamboo are graphite and fiberglass. 

So here most commonly asked two questions have been answered below for clearing your doubts regarding fiberglass and graphite fishing rods. 

How long do graphite fishing rods last?

As far as it is concerned about graphite-made fishing rod’s lasting period, there is no exact time because it entirely depends on how much you have used your graphite fishing rod.

However, over time gradually it will get softer and it is natural. But it may take a few decades to worn out completely.

If you are someone who frequently and heavily uses the graphite fishing rod then it is obvious that it will be worn out sooner than any other fishing rod.

However, you can expand its lifetime by taking proper care and storing methods. And experts say, a graphite fishing rod can be last 30-40 years approximately hinging on the use. 

How long will a fiberglass fishing rod last?

Well, this answer is also vague but fishing experts claim that a good quality fiberglass fishing rod can last up to 20-30 years because fiberglass fishing rods are quite strong and durable. 

Fiberglass rods are more enduring and add strength while fishing, therefore, these have fewer chances of getting brittle and worn out. But still, the lifetime of a fiberglass fishing rod depends on your usage and maintenance. 

As long as, you are maintaining them properly, no matter how much or how roughly you use a fiberglass fishing rod, it will last up to 20 years easily. 

Do Fishing Rods Go Bad?

The quick answer is yes, fishing rods certainly go bad after decades of using them under the sun, humid weather, saltwater, and in challenging situations fighting with fishes. Also, poor quality fishing rod’s material and lack of maintenance can make fishing rods go bad. 

Fishing rods are used under the scorching sun, humid weather, saltwater, and tough situations where anglers have a tough time fighting with fishes. All these factors highly impact the life of a fishing rod as these facets are lessening the durability and strength of a fishing rod. 

Another two important factors are material and maintenance, if it’s a poor material-made fishing rod then for sure it will go bad soon. Or even if it is a high-quality fishing rod but lacks proper maintenance, it will go bad as well. 

How Do I Protect My Fishing Rod?

You can use a fishing rod rack, socks, or sleeves to protect your fishing rod and then store them in a dry environment such as at your home or basement or in the garage. But make sure to clean them thoroughly before storing them.

What is the best way to store fishing rods?

It is vital for you to protect and store your fishing rods if you want to avoid spending money frequently in buying fishing rods. Therefore, 5 beneficial ways have been explained in detail to help you with the questions of proper storing methods. 

Use Fishing Rod Rack: 

The fishing rod rack is the safest way of storing fishing rods, because these rods are manufactured to keep fishing rods perpendicular maintaining their shape. It also prevents the rods from leaning on each other or from tangling. 

And then you can wall-mount the rod rack in a dry environment at your home or in the garage. 

Use Fishing Rod Sleeves Or Tube:

Clothe rod sleeves or tubes are another great option for storing and protecting fishing rods. Because such sleeves and tubes are humid resistant and don’t let the air go inside, also keeps the rods in a vertical position separately. 

Point to be mentioned, these rod sleeves and tubes are traveling friendly too, so you can store your fishing rods safely in distant places too.

Use Mesh Rod Covers: 

Mesh rod covers are affordable yet a great way of storing and protecting your fishing rods because they easily can glide on and glide off a fishing rod while providing quite a much-cushioned bulk that gives extra protection and prevents any kind of scratch or slight breakage while storing them.

Install Wall Shelves And Storage Bin:

Another cost-effective way of storing and protecting fishing rods is installing separate wall shelves and storage bins below them to store your fishing rods. Use hooks to keep them separate and upright. 

You can install such sleeves and storage bins inside your house or in your basement to keep your fishing rods away from humidity, sunlight, and other falling things.

What do you use to clean fishing rods?

Cleaning is the first step of protecting fishing rods because you always must clean your fishing rods thoroughly before storing them to prevent unwanted breakage or corrosion. 

And after that polishing or oiling elements are as important because it helps to prepare the fishing rods for a prolonged storing period. 

Lukewarm soap water

After using your fishing rod the first thing you need to clean is a bucket full of lukewarm soap water. Just simply throw your rods in that for 10-15 seconds for the outer dirt to wash away. 

A soft bristle toothbrush

Then you have to use an old soft toothbrush to scrub it thoroughly for the dirt, sand, or mud to go away. Then rinse off with lukewarm water.

A small wrench, screwdrivers, tweezers 

You need to use them for taking off the reel while cleaning the rod and join them afterward cleaning it.

A clean cloth or towel 

After cleaning, now you will be needing a towel to wipe off the fishing rod and place your rod onto the towel to let it dry. 


Lubricating fishing rods ensure the lifespan of fishing rods and protect them from any breakage or wear-out. Timely and proper lubrication maintains the functions of the fishing rod.

Store bought cleanser 

Rod cleansers are optional, but if you want to use branded clearer instead of soap water then you can use The Ardent Rod Cleaning Kit, it’s a very good rod cleanser.  

Do Graphite Fly Rods Wear Out?

Yes, graphite fly rods wear out over time as well, if they are heavily used. Graphite fly rods do not tend to break down or weaken down so easily but if you are heavily using them then after a long time they start getting soft and wear out. 

Graphite fly rods are used for throwing heavy nymphs, while fishing for an entire day, or in a situation like strong wind, and all these facets indicate heavy use. So, when you are using a graphite fly rod for all these purposes, it is obvious that it will wear out after a certain period. 

Are Old Fishing Rods Still Good? 

If the gear of your old fishing rod is in a good condition and shape as well as maintained in a well manner, then it’s still can be considered as a good, useable fishing rod. 

Fishing rods don’t wear out easily therefore, before buying another check precisely if the gear is working properly it not, if it is still functioning in a great manner, you can still use that rod for folding your fishing cravings. 

What Do You Do With Old Fishing Rods?

If your old fishing rods are in a good condition, you can still use them for fishing purposes, if not then take some DIY ideas and recycle them. Here are some easy recycling ideas are given for you. 

  • Turn them into decor- For having some rustic vibe at your place, mount your vintage rods, and turn them into wall decor. 
  • Use for gardening- Utilize them as gardening stakes due to their flexibility.
  • Utilize spare parts- You can use spare parts like reels, rods, etc. for different purposes. 

As other objects fishing rods are also not meant for lasting a lifetime, after years of using them, naturally they do go bad or wear out due to heavy use, lack of maintenance, and other reasons.  But still, you can re-use their parts for various DIY purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do fishing rod sleeves work?

Why doesn’t my fishing rod cast far?

How to fix a bent fishing rod?

Do fishing rods snap or break?

How long do fishing rods last?

How Long Do Fiberglass & Graphite Fishing Rods Last?